Ari Gold and loaded bicycle. August 6th, 2011 outside a Hannaford grocery in York Village, Maine
I met Ari by chance that we both were on bike tours and both at the same market at the same time. He was 23 months into a much longer tour. He could recite a long list of cities and towns that were along his route. It sounded like a song. His goal was to get to Australia. He showed me a rear view mirror he makes and sells. It was different because you wear it on your hand. He was also kind and gave me a couple of ball on a bungee fasteners, that proved to be very useful.
Sept 14th. Day 45
For being next to a highway I slept late. Woke up at 7:45. Guess the constant sound is not so bad.
Bought a few fruits at the store. Then back to the info place (they were yet to open at 8:20 when I pulled on the door) not much there for me. It was set up for people going into the city. I was getting out. They had one map i might have used but it was $4 and I would only use it 2 days. Really all I wanted to know was how to get back on the 132. It was shit with headwinds for the last week, but at least I could depend on it to take me somewhere useful.
I got verbal directions to the bridge. The Pont de Quebec. The big cool old bridge I rode under last night when I was getting super pissed at quebec and their “bike infrastructure”. I looked at “bike map” in the info place. Only 20% of the bike ways are on the road. Most are separate. Total shit. Stop teaching drivers bikes don’t belong on the street. And stop thinking bikers just want to ride into the woods or someplace like that.
So I rode over a cool bridge.
Back on the 132. I rode and rode. Nothing special. Small towns with farms between. Ones with nothing. Or maybe a gas station only. And of those none had a coffee machine I would be caught using. Either stupid packets or the damn thing would not have room for me to put my mug under the drip spot. So stupid because it seems like Canada as a whole is good about recycling and at every real grocery I go to there are a noticeable number of people who bring their own grocery bags to use and reuse. But they all seem to be lazy as hell about their coffee habits. But I have not seen a Tim Hortons in days. They are cool about filling my mug vs a paper cup. I might not be the only one.
About 12 I think I’d done 28 km. Slow and tired and lazy. But moving a little, a little at a time.
I watched two falcons flying, gliding, looping around. And then they were trying to do it. Falling in the air. So cool.
Later I saw a hitch hiker. Stopped to talk. Alex. White dude w dreads. Not really a hitchhiker, more a train hopper but off course a bit. He gave me an apple. Lots of apple trees around I guess. He didn’t like the 132 and was more into getting closer to the highway 20. I showed him my map. But right then I was off my map again. But it helped him a little.
Later in the next town I finally got a coffee. My mug is 16oz right to the top(no room for lid). 5pm. About time.
Just out of that town i had a semi about brush me. So scary because he had no on coming traffic, could have given me room, easy. I had zero shoulder. Was the kind were they repainted the white line over the crumbled broken and lost edge of road. So I HAD to be just inside of the line on the roadway.
Well, I lived but that couple seconds were not fun.
And later I met André. Of Vélo André. A small bike shop out of his garage in St Pierre les Becquets. There was a bike hanging from the roof and a sign over the garage door. Had to stop.
His English was good but he was a little unsure of himself. A short guy about 60 or something. I just thought it was neat and odd that he had a bike shop in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I don’t think you could buy a gallon of milk in that town but you could buy a bike.
He told me he was wanting to take a trip of his own but needed to wait 6 weeks to recuperate from a bike crash. Showed me his trailer he planned to use.
Told me this year was not so good for selling bikes. Two years ago was very good he said. He’d been selling bikes for 14 years. Later he said he’d worked in Montreal and spoke English there for work, but since then not so much. Also that he once was a farmer with cows and fields for crops, but sold it all and kept the house and garage.
He had some electric bikes and a stack of maybe 8 or 10 boxed bikes he had yet to sell. They all said “made in Vietnam”.
Before I left I asked for a photo. Just a portrait of him on his gravel drive in front of the open door and Andre sign.
Traded emails and I was off.
Oh he also told me there is a difference in expression for have a good day when said in the morning and when said in the afternoon. Makes sense there would be but I’ve been basically saying goodmorning to people morning, noon, and night for the last couple weeks. I’m so dumb.
I was ripping 30+ to the next town. Coffee. It was the fastest 17km of the month.
In Bécancour I asked how far to next town. Still lacking a map. The only answer I could get was 20 min in a car.
Distance and time are not the same thing but in a different country I’ll take what I can get and just smile.
I stayed where I was. Just filled my water. Sat by an outlet listing to music till dark and then rolled to the park I’d scouted to camp. Was getting cold, could see my breath.
Between soccer field(no one playing) and a baseball diamond (now the lights were on? And no one playing) I rode out to the back edge of the park. Against the trees I set up.
Soup and crackers for dinner.
In bed at 8:59p
Tim Berry on the iPod.
-I noticed the zipper pulls on my new Arkel bar bag are the same as the ones my old ass Cannondale panniers.
-the word for black is Noir. Cafe Noir. Black coffee. I learned this back in NB but seen it spelled today on an ad for scratch-off tickets. Like a knock off mastercard black but a scratch off i guess?
Sept. 10th Day41
Today was a better day.
Three days ago was big hills
Two days ago was big hills and strong headwinds
Yesterday was flats but even stronger headwinds
Today I even had a tailwind for about and hour and was doing 30+ for most of it.
The day started cloudy and I even plastic bagged a few things before departing in case of rain.
That towns flag was pretty cool too but it was wrapped up on the flag pole too much for a good photo.
In the next town I stopped for water and coffee. Had a little chat with the store keeper. He reminded me of an actor who’s name I don’t know.
Noon was real before I even thought about it. Seemed like I was stopping a lot and not getting as far as I thought for the amount of time since I started. But still stopped and bought a little lunch at Walmart. $1.90 on a 500 of yogurt. And a free charge and some wifi while I was there. In that time the sun broke out.
My only real goal for day was to get off the map. My Gaspésie map. The last town on that map was Sainte-Flavie and I put it 30km behind me.
From Grosses-Noches to Rimouski.
Somewhere along the way between towns I met a man hiking the same path I’m taking but the reverse direction. Of course he was walking on the side of the road I was riding so I stopped and we chatted. He said he was leading a group, but they were all ahead of him, and he’s done it a number of years.
We talked about seeing animals and diet and my bike. We took photos of each other and had one of those conversations where right when you think is over and say bye then one more thing is said and the conversations starts again. Anyway, he started in Quebec and told me a little about it. Soon.
In Rimouski I just looked at the surprisingly unique lighthouse and a slow ride into town. A stop at IGA for foods and a scouting along the 132.
I found this one place I thought would maybe be good. Something new.
In the pit of a truck bay outside a loading dock.
There was a box store, closed like not in bidness and for sale signs on the place. A single bay and right across the street from the water. I looked in it, deep enough nobody would see me unless they were standing were I was looking into the ramp/pit. A little rocky but I could kick rocks aside and room enough to set up my tent. So a look around the other side of the building and it’ll be good.
Around the corner, next to the dumpsters, I find the most disheveled homeless man ive ever seen rocking back and forth, nasty dirty looking.
I’m cool with the homeless. But this man gave me the feeling it would be wise to look elsewhere. I would have liked to get a photo but I thought best not to bother.
On the other side of town I found a spot in the grass behind some trees in a basic park like place. A couple history info boards and a covered picnic table. Made dinner there and set up the tent after.
Fed and in bed by 8:30p.
Not a very exciting day but at least the wind chilled out and no bugs as I made my meal at sunset.
Sept. 9th Day 40
Tonight I’m camping in Grosses-Roches. I’m in the grass with light winds, no bugs and another endless sunset. I can hear waves just beyond the small cemetery. I’m looking at the St. Laurence right now, from inside my tent, with still a little bit of light at the horizon.
I woke up today and was in big trouble. I had to go bad but no place to go. My camp spot was in the middle of town and it was early, too early for any place to be open. Riding would be difficult and to get past town looked to be at least a kilometer.
I figured it out to say the least.
I usually start out in the granny gear daily. It’s good to roam around in the night before when scouting spots. And in the morning when legs may be still tired.
I rode around the cove that town was in, passing a huge waterfall over a big wall of rock, and a curve to the left and I was next to the gulf and facing the winds. The road was flat, skirting the water about 90% of my day but I never got out of the granny until my day was near done.
At one point I stopped to take a photo. Ahead of me the road went up a hill and curved to the left. And the shore curved to the right and right in the middle was a giant peak of land. A big pointy rocky mess. But really just a photo and a break for water. Before I clipped back in I saw a loaded tourist rolling down the hill. I was on the flats and I waited thinking he may stop. And not too excited about hills and wind that were in my face.
The guy must have been feeling that wind push him down the hill because he just waved and rode on.
I don’t understand why I am super excited to see other people touring but it’s like one in ten gives a shit to stop? I feel like I’m in a hurry. I ride everyday. I feel like I’ll go broke paying for food in this country. But still I would stop and chat for a couple few min with anybody on a bike. I mean anybody. I guess that’s the way it is sometime. People don’t stop.
Anyway he looked Euro. His clothes, bike and bags were a bit colorful in an uncoordinated way. And on the back rack he had a duffle bag set sideways that was as wide as my bike is tall. Later dude. I’m gonna do 7kmh up this hill.
Another town had a bright red lighthouse. That was cool.
All day I was seeing trucks moving wind farm blades. They look very long when they are just 5 feet of the ground.
At a roadside rest stop I saw a motorcyclist off his bike taking a photo of a waterfall. I waved and he seems friendly so I stopped. Turns out we both worked about a block from each other in Brooklyn. He told me a little about the way he came from and I told him about things he would see. We each took photos and hit the road but it was a good chat.
It’s 8:55 and the wind is picking up here. After some of my past nights, anytime the wind starts whipping my tent about I get nervous.
For the day I did 113 and was in the middle ring most but not all of the 79.5 to 113km. Before that nothing but granny gear. F’kn wind.
Sept 8th. Day 39
From the wind I woke up kind of early but slowed down the get up part because I figured the market might not be open before 7.
At about 7:15 I was ready to roll. But the market wouldn’t be ready till 8:30. 8 thirty?
Did an unnecessary backwards loop out of town. Lots of major road construction and a bad lack of signage. What’s and extra 2km? I would crack 3800 before the day would be over.
I stopped at the next towns Gaz station. Coffee and two muffins.
I just drink coffee black now but I should go back to milk for the calories. It was drank before I was gone, muffins too.
What do I remember about today? Well it was sunny. And I was dry. But the whole day was headwinds. Strong.
And there were hills. Too many to count. 100km of them.
I saw two tourist early. Riding with the wind. And lightly packed. Just a simple pair of panniers each, nothing extra. Waved but they did not stop.
Whatever they didn’t even look tan.
Then another, a bit later. He had a trailer. With one small bag and nothing on the bike. Strange to bring a trailer for what I could fit in one rear pannier. But I never got to ask, he didn’t stop either.
I was thinking over the last week I’d probably meet lots of other tourist around the Gaspe. But in the last few day and seeing none, not any since entering Quebec, I began to think I might be the only one.
Today I knew I’d have less distance than normal. It was one of those hell days where seeing 10km on the speed thingy would make me happy. I was in the X gear on the downhills the wind was so bad. I could be in the Y gear on the flats. But the rest of the day, on just about any incline, I’d be Z’ed out. Last gear. Stand up if you have to.
I rolled down one hill that was protected from the wind and hit 79km/hr. But at the bottom was all the wind I’d missed.
Later rolling down another I slowed as I made way through town. I look to the water and in a park space I see two more tourist, looking more loaded than the earlier ones, I wave, the woman waves, I slow and U turn in the street and as I get to be back where I can pull into the park, was just a couple second later, I look and see their backs as they walk to the water.
I just did another U and kept going.
What do they need me for? They have each other.
I felt kind of crappy after that.
I kind of wanted to stop in general but then I just kept riding thinking about how alone doing this can feel sometimes.
Of course more hills. But on the next hill I see another loaded tourist facing me. I slow and as I’m about to stop I see that she is stopping too.
Maybe the first thing she said was “you’re gonna be happy, it’s all flats ahead”
I went to her side of the street to talk. She was on her 5th day.
Talking to her was rejuvenating. Much like the last um, encounter was deflating.
We had things in common like drinking gaz station coffee. Put a Loony in the machine for 9oz. Enjoying the past couple days sunsets. She knew what it was like to tour, conversations in your head, packed well but shit strapped outside the bags too.
The best part was she was friendly. She smiled and laughed. Very pretty. The only thing that could make it better was if we were going the same direction.
I asked for a photo. She told me about landing in a ditch when I asked how her tour was going.
Totally the best part of my day.
But I had to chase a carrot. I fucking shook her hand and said goodbye.
She was right just a couple more hills and then flat for the last 30km of my day.
The wind never stopped.
For the slowest avg speed day of the trip I still did 121km.
And yes, another splendid sunset.
Sept, 2 day 33
But I didn’t think or remember that today was the 33rd day of this tour until just now, 9:23pm and I’m already fed and in bed.
Now maybe I’m rethinking I shouldn’t leave my front wheel on my bike. But the mosquitos out there are hell.
This morn I woke up at 8 like we agreed. Adam was up and by the sound of it he had been doing some work. The first thing he said was he’d got a piece of metal in his eye and would be going to the hospital after breakfast. I said we can skip it and for him to just go because I’m going to hit the road either way. But he was sure he’d be fine to eat before so we went to his families restaurant and ate eggs and potatoes with toast and coffee. He said he’d been in the same situation before, the hospital is a 15 min drive and they freeze his eye and use a pick to dig out the metal speck. Sounds gnarly.
After that I got on the bike but a couple quick photos before and I wished his father was there to get a photo of also. He reminds me of Mr. Schaubmayer.
I rode away and said good bye in French. I have no idea how its spelled and barely know how it’s said
I made good time to Bathurst. The 134 was smooth and the wind was nice to me for 20 km. I averaged over 26km/hr getting there. Then I walked around in town knocking it down to 19 on the thingy.
I sat on a bench and made PB&J for myself. I watched a flock of little birds all fly together and land on the top of maybe the coolest building in town. And just as I thought “get out the cam and vid them all flying off” that’s when they all jumped and flew away. It looked inspiring.
Then a man who had walked by and gave a hello reapeared with a camera and asked for a photo. Sure, take as many as you like. Me, my bike and eating PB&J. Perfect.
I asked his name, it was David, he said he’d be at the book cafe, and if I wanted he would buy me a coffee.
I finished up and met him and we talked about photography and photo gear for about 20 min over coffee and snacks. He showed me a small book of his photos. Almost every page I turned showed me two of the same photo. Different prints but doubles. It was his style I guess. He also showed me the gear and accessories he had in his bag. He had about everything one would need. Complained about always needing a new/bigger bag to fit it all. Showed him my camera and talked about film. Also tried to talk him into a camera strap like mine. I did ask for a photo there in the cafe. He allowed me but said normally would not. And also said he does not smile. I said I was glad to take his photo and there was no need to smile. Shortly after I left. I had to get to Campbellton and he had things to do.
Hit a little wifi at McD. Returned an email from outlier. But I think I should write them again and clear up what I said today.
Bought some food at the market. Very cute manager in there as I was walking out.
On the road.
Had a feeling I might catch a tourist. Because of the road I was on. Not many options between the two towns. And I seen a banana peel on the edge of the road. A tell-tale sign. I leave them all the time.
And I did! but they were headed to me. I decided from other times tourist going the other direction not stopping that I would stop as I notice them and they might be more likely to stop as well. It worked. The couple even came to my side of the road.
A cute older couple. 40’s maybe? 77km into their day 1 (of 4). A short trip. I asked their names but it escaped me very quickly because theirs were very French names. But I did get a photo.
More smooth miles with the wind being nice in a slight way. Nothing too major.
Today I rode over the 3226km mark. Making my trip over 2000 miles now. Cool.
In a small town of Jacquet River, so small it was not even on my map, there were 5 kids chilling on the street. As I rode by one asked where you going, where you from? So I stopped and chatted for a bit. These kids were about 13 I’d guess so they were a bit nervous it seemed but they were talkative a couple of them. Two had bikes. One was “Walmart junk” but the other kid had a nice older purple mountain bike. Got a portrait of him before I left. A good bit more riding to get to my camp town but the last 30km of it was as the bay narrowed. The water to my right. Looking at the mountains across the bay. Damn cool sights. And the sun set was very pretty across the water.
In town I seen some campers in a rocky (gravel lot) spot of land right on the water so I asked the guy at the gas station across the street what’s up. He said there have been RV campers there all summer. I’m just a tent but I knew where I was camping. Got water and snacks. Even super hot water out the coffee machine as per the lady behind the counter after I told her hot water is better, it gives my stove a break on fuel to get a boil going for pasta.
I lined my tent up so I think I’ll see the sun rise right from where I lay inside the tent tomorrow morning.
Other than a wall of mosquitos there is only little activity in the 300 yards of this camping land I’m on.
Tomorrow I’ll cross into my fourth province of the trip.
And I hear a train.
Eric Martin and loaded bicycle in Victoria by the sea, PEI
Eric is one of six touring cyclists I’ve seen in the last 3 days. We had a few meals together and shared some stories. He was touring from Montreal and the day we met was the day he was supposed to have been back to where he started. His journey has been a good one. Carry on my friend.
Continuing on the 2 was a good road. Making good time for once in this part of the country. I feel like a never made any real stops, just snack breaks on the road side. There were towns where the map said they were also a first for NS. I did stop in Truro. Asked about good roads to get to the PEI ferry. And stopped at The Hub bike shop to double check the tourist info I got from the welcome center teenage girls. I doubted they bike on the road they told me to take. But the way they told me was backed up at the shop. And there they were nice enough to let me use their wifi password. The woman behind the counter was pretty and lots of smiles. There was sort of leads into a camping spot but I sometimes don’t want to be too much of a scrub when I should take the one in a million offers from attractive females. Stupid me. She even said she had a pump track in her yard. After I left I told myself she had to have a boyfriend so why fool myself.
Truro was surprisingly ok in the day time. But after a few photos of the 6 sections of the Berlin Wall on public display and on what might be permanent loan to the city from “some guy” (welcome center info for ya) I then stopped at the store for provisions. I bought pasta and a big bottle of water thinking I’d be camping in the sticks somewhere between Truro and Pictou. But today was an easy 128km and I made it to Pictou in time to ride around and make dinner before sun down. Watched the sunset over the water. Scored a second outdoor iPod charge on the dock while I made dinner at a table. A family unpacking from a boat trip chatted me up and gave me a grip of watermelon, some cookies and a couple cold beverages. Real nice people also chatted about camping and they pointed to a spot right near by, super close to the water and I’m guessing will get morning light. I’m tented up in that same spot right now.
As I was walking off the dock I found a place to dispose my garbage and inside the building there was the a couple things of interest (besides a restroom and water faucet). Inside there was a shower that seemed to be open for use. I plan on testing it out in the morning. And second, I noticed a schedule and fare sheet for the PEI ferry. $16 for me and another $20 for my bike. That’s a lot!
So now my thought is this. Maybe bike up the coast to the bridge (I hear it’s free to go to PEI and only has a fare to come back to NB) do a true loop on the island back to the bridge and then try to hitch back into NB to skip paying the toll.
One cool thing that happened to day was I met another fully loaded touring cyclist. He was on his way to Halifax and started in Vancouver. It was the last day of his trip. His name was Tyler Valiquette and his site is www.crossingcanada.ca we met at a funny ramp interchange thing in Shubenacadie aka “Shube”. We exchanged info and traded brief stories. Compared bikes and I helped guide him to the way I rode out of HFX for a nice ride along the lakes and river into Dartmouth. He said he was with a friend, who was somewhere else I didn’t recall, they had raised $10,000 to help end hunger. He was nice enough to let me take his photo.
Now that I think about it the riding to the bridge idea might add a half day or full day to my trip but on the good side it’ll eliminate Truro from being the only city I visit twice.
It’s getting to be close to one month in. About that time that I do a re-sort and ditch or mail some things back to lighten the load. I already know I could lose a couple pounds without even trying.
I woke up to the sound of rain on my tent. So I went back to sleep.
Later I woke up to the sound of Collin saying good morning. He brought me a plate of eggs and veggies as he was off to work. In all my days of touring I’ve never had breakfast served to me as I lay in my tent.
A little later the rain moved away and Halifax was covered in sunshine. A truly beautiful day. On my way to downtown I saw a messenger I’d seen yesterday and said what’s up. Got to chatting with him for a min. His name was Philip and I took a few pictures of him on the street. Has 2 kids and said he’d get 90 runs in a day sometimes. That seems crazy to me. The most I ever did in NYC was 41.
I rode to the same cafe as yesterday for coffee and a muffin. Post a bunch of “tent tweets” from last night as I tried to sleep. Also catching up on my notes in my notebook. Watching my bike just on the other side of the window, two white guys on minimally loaded road bikes lean theirs near mine and walk in. I was at a booth alone. So I walk over and say if they would like to sit with me that would be fine. Really they were just asking the barista for some info but they did sit for a min. Then both ordered coffees. Their names were Michael and Joel and they were riding from Vancouver to Saint John, Newfoundland for ALS. I will have to look up their site als100daybiketour.blogspot.com they only had 14 days left on their tour. It’s so cool to see and talk to other tourist.
Said bye to the guys in Ideal Bikes. Too bad I’m sticking to this schedule of not staying in one place for more that 24 hours. But by the sounds of it, not much was going on tonight. I did see Christopher messengering and stopped him for a chat as well. We played pol0 together last night but I did not realize he was a messenger also. Got a couple photos and then he was back to the streets.
Walking around I saw the same recycler, scout, can-man, I’d met outside the bike shop yesterday. Talked with him a min. Gave me directions to a water fountain and bathroom. Finally got a bit of a wash/scrub in. So very dirty. Also thought to do laundry. Nah. Boring.
And walking around more (lots of girls to smile at in Halifax) I saw a homeless guy I talked to yesterday. We chatted more. Something about living off the bike. And having a three week beard and washing only in a sink for the last two, I guess we have stuff to talk about.
I thought I might meet a love in this city but my desire to carry on steered me away from her, if she is even there. I made tracks for the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. Kind of one of those things. Very simple but now I can say I’ve biked over the bridge in Halifax. From there I went straight to Two If By Sea a coffee shop on Octerloney Street. Which conveniently becomes the 318 which becomes the 2 North. That will take me to Truro. Again. WTF.
On the road again I had a very pleasant stroll along a big river or maybe a string of lakes. Pretty. And basically flat.
I just did 42 km the whole day and that counts the walking around I did. Never even put on my road shoes. Still need to swap the wasted cleat for the new one also.
I thought about tenting up at a church in Grand Lake but opted out and pressed my luck to see what was up the road as it was getting dark. Riding at sunset is very beautiful at times. The sun setting over wooded lake areas along slightly curved 2-lanes. Its good. But not having a tent spot after sun down is not so good.
But up the road just 5 more min was an Irving 24 truck stop. Right where the state route 2 crosses over the 102 Highway (exit 7) from here north the highway will be West of me.
Tented up over on the side near an on-ramp. In the tall grass. Within a swarm of skeeters. The trick is to only unzip the lower length of the tent door. Not up the side were it’ll flap over and make a big opening for them to get in. With just the bottom open I sneak all my bags and such in, then I slither in real low to the ground. Of course I do a little de-bugging dance before I make my entry. Seeing 50 or more bugs blanketing the netting and trying to get in makes me thankful my tent is as good as it is.
The sound of many highway vehicles fills the air. Could be lots of jets up in the sky doing loops and flips and fly bys.
My bike is in the tall weeds keeping the mosquitos company.
I ate homemade banana bread(half a loaf) and cheese for dinner.
I think the sun will hit the tent in the morn. Hoping no rain. But seeing evacuation tweets about Red Hook, BK. Mandatory. Saying sat and sun will be the worst.
I have thought that if this trip continues past my return to NYC. I might make a little stamp with the PB&J URL and actually start telling people about it. Up to now there are only a handful of people I’ve mentioned it to.
Also need to permanently turn off all comments. On tour I like twitter and email only. No phone, hate texting, too many event invites I’m totally not going to make of facebook. And comments on a blog is just more time online. Reminds me of the debate I was having about doing any online presence. But with no phone, twitter is an easy was to let friends know I’m alive.
And doing a blog that effectively no one knows about makes it easy to have my mind think of it as a digital notebook and double that because all this is written in the Notes app on my iPod.
An equivalent would be changing cash money for chips at the casino.
It’s different when the medium is tipped to a less direct to online form.
The next step is to copy and paste in a cafe somewhere down the road. Where or when that is, I don’t know.
Ok right now I’m tented up at another church. This time in grass and on a Saturday night, that part is a first, trying my luck and hoping to be up early an get some distance tomorrow.
After laundry in Sackville I really had to pee so I went back to the cafe. And why not another coffee? Not long after I packed it up, getting it all buttoned down right in front of the cafe I over heard two ladies talking about touring, stuff about their own experienced. I just minded my own. Just as I grabbed my bike to roll then one started to talk to me. Basic things but two parts that stood out were after saying I was not going to do the Cabbot Trail because of the hill she said she had just done it and something like it would be a shame to miss it. I wasn’t real sure what she meant by how she said it. But the other thing was telling me to watch out for coyotes. Uh. She said some girl backpacking on a trail with food in her bag and maybe talking on her phone was attacked by a hungry coyote so watch out, have something to swing at one. This whole thing was holding me back from making tracks. Glad to get out of there. On the highway to Nova Scotia I started to bonk. Too much coffee and not enough oatmeal. I’d been putting off making oatmeal all day. I took the last N.B. exit, found a table in the sun, didn’t care, and made 3 pb and j on flour torts, soft taco style. And 3 more on the last of my Ancient Grains wheat bread. The last of my big bag of Sunchips, and last block of cheese from yesterday’s vege burgers.
While there I briefly met Ray a backpacker and hitchhikeing traveler. Offered him some food but he was good and walked away. Before he left I did ask for a photo and he was ok with that. I need go ask more people because I can think of at least ten photos of people I met I really wish I would have taken.
Refilled the H2O and on the road again to Nova Scotia. The first town was big enough and saw many “I’d camp right there” type places. But had to press on another 22km to Springhill, NS. Was going to make oatmeal so I stopped at a gas station on the outskirts for water but ended up buying a double scoop of blueberry-vanilla ice cream cone and a big thing of homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam. I don’t even need jelly right now but it looked so good. I should have bought a whole pie too, they were homemade and only $7. By time I rode up the hill into Springhill I just wanted to get to bed. Tented up. Wrote in notebook. Typed this to post later and that’s that. Just a 75km day. Tomorrow I’ll shoot for Truro, NS and hopefully go beyond that.
Today was the second time I did laundry in 20 days.
Things I wish I had: good but light long-sleeve (for when hoodie is too much to add to when not enough) not just yet but might want later thin long-johns (maybe not but I own some that are light and small when not on) and for sure two pair of merino underwear. Cotton ones are not that good for touring especially with my washing schedule. But I was forced to buy a 6 load zip-lock bag of laundry soap so I won’t want to carry that around very long, a week max.
Other things if I had money. New iPod w better camera, better looking images. And a solar charger so I could take more photos more often.
Last night, after a full day with the Beehive Collective, I had decided if the the weather man was right and there is rain in the morning I’d stay longer but if the morning was clear I’d stay for breakfast, say goodbyes and hit the road before noon.
I woke up to a dry tent and barely overcast skies.
I was up an hour before breakfast was served but by time I was all packed and made my way to the Grange the line was started. Oatmeal and cherries.
I had my bike with me so the ones I had sort of gotten to know knew I was about to leave. I would have liked to stay but I’m in travel mode. They all know what that’s like. A few last photos and a couple people asked for my info.
I wanted to get a photo of these four young kids who got in last night. They sat at the same table as me for breakfast but before I knew it they had left for their projects. I went to the house and found two and learned they were that much of a crew. They just drove up together. Anyway I took a nice shot of the two of them. I lost track of their names.
The very last thing was an official Bees fair-well. A few in the front yard waved handkerchiefs with many goodbyes. I rode down the hill to the 1.
I bought a loaf of bread, a small OJ and a few bananas at the gas station and made my way just after 11am
There was not much else today.
I ate about 6 times. Even stopped at a cafe for grilled cheese and fries. Now much happened there, the most excitement was a 50 states crossword on the placemat. I found Maine but could not find New York. Ohio was easy.
Some clouds the whole day. Never saw my shadow.
I did stop to talk to Gregory. A man hammering a roof onto a structure mention to be a bathroom/greenhouse over a septic tank. Lives half the year in India. Would much rather hitchhike than bike. Made scarecrows from 6 foot logs by hammering washers on for eyes and nose and dressing them in thrift store clothes. There were about 25 of them scattered about. Some in the weeds across the highway. “these ones don’t like those ones”
We talked for about 15 min. But he had work to do and I had miles to ride more before the rain started.
Not much else to Calias. Learned of a Walmart. Tented it there. Crossing the boarder in the morning if the rain clears. Raining as I set up the tent. Plain sight.
Thought I might switch to km on the cycle computer since I’ll be in Canada for a few weeks. But how?
Also thought to be clean shaven as I cross. But that’s not happening unless I shave in the Walmart bathroom in the morning. Na.
Would like to get a new, non broken screen, good battery having, slightly better camera equipped iPod touch and a solar charger. But no money for that stuff right now.
Also my 34″ Outliers are a size too big now. What happened??
I rode 64 miles today. Almost all of that was on US 1.
Finding web time is not as hard as keeping this old iPhone charged. Need some solar charger but don’t want it bad enough to research, find, or buy one. Mainly because being on the Internet slows me down and sucks the life out of my time.
I’m exaggerating. I did drink a huge coffee at Bard Coffee in Portland, Maine while sending some tweets to let friend know I’m alive. Look at emails and try to contact portland bike pol0. Waiting on a response. Also look at 36 hour weather. Dry now but says all rain coming up. Rained all last night. Luck that it started 30 min after I was in my tent.
Also got this thing fully charged while waiting. Still no reply. Getting super hungry. Fingers crossed they play when and where their site says.
Also I met another touring cyclist.